The New York Jets were bad on offense Sunday. Still, their defense was so good that the bets on the Jets as a 3.5-point underdog seemed safe.
Then the Jets punted in the final seconds and those +3.5 tickets became scrap paper.
When the Jets lined up to punt with 26 seconds left, tied 3-3 with the New England Patriots, the odds of them not covering the spread in regulation ended were astronomical. Start with the fact that there had been zero punt returns for touchdowns in the NFL all season up to that point.
Jets bettors knew they weren't in the clear: If the Patriots won the overtime coin toss and scored a touchdown right away, that could lose their bet. They could score a touchdown anytime, but after the first drive they'd have likely played for a field goal, which still was fine for +3.5 tickets. And the Patriots hadn't come close to scoring a touchdown all game. There was probably a greater chance at Patriots defensive touchdown in overtime.
But a touchdown in the final half-minute of regulation? No way.
Then Marcus Jones took the punt, ran to his right, cut up the sideline, moved back to midfield and had an 84-yard touchdown with five seconds left. The Patriots won 10-3. Unbelievable.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) November 20, 2022
On one hand, Jets bettors shouldn't get too much sympathy. Their team scored three points and was lucky to get that much. Quarterback Zach Wilson was awful. It became clear their only chance to score was if the defense force a big turnover.
Still, the suddenness in which the Jets blew the cover was shocking. Jets bettors had to watch three hours of miserable football for an even uglier ending.